When the Spanish first began to colonize the Americas, they rationalized their acts by claiming they were saving a barbaric, pagan peoples. Many of the natives were forcibly converted to Catholicism.
The city of Nueva Cádiz was the first founded city in 1500 in Venezuela.
Following this time, the Spanish moved north onto Mexico. During this time, they conquered the Aztec empire. This is one of the most well-known native populations that was killed out. The colonization/conquest was quite short, lasting from 1519 to 1521.
The Aztecs were huge believers of omens and multiple gods. Before the Spanish arrived, there were 8 omens. However, the Aztecs, particularly Montezuma, were unsure of what exactly these omens signified, possibly up until the Spanish, led by Cortes, arrived.
It is typically assumed that the Aztecs believed Cortes to be a god reincarnated. However, there is no accuracy to this story. Some believed Montezuma simply believed Cortes to be a strong leader of an outside group, possibly an ambassador to a distant king. It is likely these are beliefs are due to accounts written after the fall of Tenochtitlan, when the Spanish held power, many incorporating omens to emphasize was the Spanish right and destiny to have conquered the land.
Religion always plays a big part in stories and histories similar to this. What would history have been had religion been less emphasized, less violent, and more tolerant?